Parashat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47. In this week’s Torah portion, one learns a very basic principle for spiritual growth. It is not that this principle is so profound, but it is often times ignored. Before stating this principle, let us remember that one of man’s primary tasks is to behave in a manner that manifests the glory of HaShem. There is only one way to do this, it is through obedience. In the opening section of this week’s parashah Moses is speaking to Aaron concerning the work of the Kohanim. Moses states,
“This is the thing which HaShem commanded that you (all the Kohanim) shall do and the glory of HaShem will appear unto you.” Leviticus 9:6
Not only does this verse reveal that through obedience to what G-d commands is the glory of G-d manifested, but the verse literally states that the glory will be manifested unto the one who performs what HaShem commanded. In other words, through obedience the believer will grow in his understanding of HaShem. Why is this? The answer is because the glory of G-d is inherently related to His attributes. This is clearly taught in Exodus chapters 33 and 34. In this section Moses beseeches HaShem to show him His glory (Exodus 33:18). In response to this, G-d allowed Moses to see His back. When this occurred, Moses was carving out the second set of tablets and when HaShem descended in a cloud and stood there with Moses, HaShem proclaimed His 13 attributes (Exodus 34:5-7).